December 15, 2015
British automaker Jaguar is returning to the racetrack with its entry into the FIA Formula E Championship.
Throughout the brand’s 70-year racing heritage, it has used competition as a chance to push its cars, learn more about them and fine-tune the vehicles. By participating in the third seasons of the Formula E, Jaguar will be able to design and develop electric technology, which may make it into consumer vehicles one day.
Formula E is the only competition of single-seat electric powered cars. Starting in the fall of 2016, Jaguar will have its own team of drivers competing.
This announcement confirms rumors that Jaguar is eventually looking to produce electric models, a move it has not made so far. As Jaguar looks to create the “next generation” of cars, being able to test out concepts and technology on racecars will help it perfect its approach for consumer vehicles.
Jaguar enter FIA Formula E Championship in 2016
Jaguar has chosen Williams Advanced Engineering as its technical partner for this racing challenge. The company has motorsport and electric vehicle knowledge, and has previously worked with Jaguar on its concept C-X75 plug-in hybrid.
“I am proud to announce Jaguar's return to racing with an entry into the innovative FIA Formula E championship,” said Nick Rogers, group engineering director for Jaguar Land Rover. “Electric vehicles will absolutely play a role in Jaguar Land Rover's future product portfolio and Formula E will give us a unique opportunity to further our development of electrification technologies. The Championship will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions.
"It is my belief that over the next five years we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades,” he continued. “The future is about being more connected and more sustainable; electrification and lightweight technologies are becoming more important than ever as urbanization continues to increase. Formula E has recognized and reacted to these trends and the championship's exciting and pioneering approach is the perfect fit for our brand."
A short film recounts Jaguar’s racing history, and looks forward toward what its participation means for the automaker.
Jaguar | FIA Formula E World Reveal
According to BBC, Jaguar left Formula 1 in 2004, and has not competed in top-level motorsport for 12 years.
While it may have been away from certain circuits, Jaguar kept up its racing heritage.
The automaker gave itself a head start in the historic Italian Mille Miglia race May 14-17 with a mini version of the event.
The inaugural “Mini Miglia” event was designed to let the team heading to Italy get accustomed to various vehicles. Additionally, the brand benefited from the mounting excitement that its pre-race escapades generated among social media followers (see story).